New England Finery Feb/Mar 2011

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Presented by New England Fine Living Lifestyle Boutique

New England

finery M AGA Z IN E

mid-February / March 2 011

Linda Smith co-founder New England Finery owner New England Fine Living

Coming full circle ... As a young child, I was often selling items road side, creating parties and carnivals for friends, constantly moving furniture and accessories around my home, and raising funds to pay for local projects. Thankfully I had very supportive parents and neighbors who must have been silently saying to themselves “oh here she comes again,” while rolling their eyes, but they never once turned me away. Hey, where else could you purchase a handful of fresh-picked flowers for a quarter, or as we pronounce it here in Massachusetts ... “a quartah?” Their positive support gave me the drive to keep thinking and working on new projects. They purchased painted rocks, lemonade, and made donations so that I could purchase a trash barrel for our local canoe landing that was always littered with trash. Who knew that 30 years later, the landing would now be a beautiful sitting area, with a permanent barrel dedicated to help maintain a picture perfect setting. One of my childhood hobbies that stands out to me is that I sold hand-crafted magazines with advertisements, articles, and recipes. I clearly remember setting up my desk with colored pencils, a fresh stack of white paper, a stapler, and my Tiger Beat magazines to fuel my inspiration. I was able to enter my own little world and entertain myself for hours. Fast forward 12 years, and at the young age of 19, I was interviewed and hired by a billion dollar cosmetic company for marketing, recruiting, and training. Unfortunately my crystal ball was not working when I took the job, and I did not

foresee that I would be laid off five years later. I got another corporate job, got laid off again two years later, and decided the corporate world was not for me (if anyone wants to hire me for a corporate job, that last comment was a figment of your imagination). Luckily at that time, I was moonlighting for myself producing trade shows on the weekends and was able to segue into fulltime self employment. So over the course of my 40+ years, my childhood passions created the business woman I am today. I joke that I have done everything with the exception of performing brain surgery. If someone is willing to be my guinea pig, I am willing to give that a try, too! I produced my trade shows, I own a retail store, I’m an interior designer and party stylist, volunteer on several non-profit groups to raise funds, and go figure, my hand-drawn magazines inspired me to create the web site New England Fine Living and produce a printed magazine. Imagine how excited I was when approached to co-produce New England Finery’s digital magazine. I have now come full circle in my childhood passions. Well maybe not yet. I still have to create a custom perfume … finish writing my book … and find a person willing to let me perform brain surgery on them.


Yvonne Blacker co-founder and creative director of New England Finery

Doing what I love ... I am a firm believer in dream following. If there is something you want to do, give it a shot. Loving what you do is the best route to happiness, and often success will follow. I have to admit I am pretty happy these days. My husband and I have been making solid progress on our dream home – a 107-year old farmhouse in a charming “country” town just north of Boston, our four young sons keep our hands and hearts full, and we are surrounded with plenty of family and friends to spend our free time. I have also found a very supportive group of creative individuals through social networking – both locally and online – who share my passion for the world of design. It was through a good friend in my local design community (check out her work on page 70) that I was introduced to Linda Smith and her new retail location, New England Fine Living. I was told she was looking for vendors who were interested in selling their products under one brick-and-mortar roof. As an interior decorator I often have design “inventory” from participating in local design shows along with collections of products that I have custom-designed (painted furniture, designer pillows, artwork, graphic designed note cards, etc.) so I figured I would go see what the store was all about. When I met Linda, it was like talking to

someone who had been traveling down virtually the same creative path and with a similar entrepreneurial enthusiasm. We soon discovered that along with both of us wanting to “make things look pretty” we also loved to share our thoughts on the creative process on our separate websites and blogs. With so much in common, joining the store seemed like the perfect “next step” for me. After the store’s grand opening last October, I began to think about how I could spread the word about New England Fine Living in order to help the entrepreneurs whose products and services fill its charming rooms. Since my design background started out in advertising and graphic design, I figured that now – with the ease and availability of new online publishing platforms – would be a great time to get back to my art director roots. Since I have always been passionate about telling the stories behind the design, I also wanted to include in our jointly-founded magazine feature articles about local designers and artists who have learned how to be successful doing what they love. And what better location is there to celebrate the spirit of yankee inventiveness than in historic New England? From retail store to online magazine, New England Finery celebrates the businesses and products that result from people doing what they love. I hope you enjoy this first issue of New England Finery magazine as much as we enjoyed creating it.


Behind-the-scenes snapshots from our feature story photo shoot and pre-launch celebration at The Stevens Estate in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Feature contributors:

New England

finery M AGA Z IN E

mid-February / March 2011 Elizabeth Wertz, p 22-35

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2/3 Letters from the editors: Linda Smith Yvonne Blacker

Jennifer Scala, p 12

Nicole Yee, p 46

4/5 Snapshots

56/57 Designed with love: Irwin Feld Design

6 Table of contents Contributors

58/59 Design field trip: NY International Gift Fair

8/19 New England Fine Living: a look inside

60/63 Walk this way: Cordani Calzature

20/21 Health and beauty: Fine Living Muse

64/66 New England design bloggers

22/35 A day to remember: Seams Couture at The Stevens Estate with Elizabeth Wertz

67 Worthy event: Room to Dream

36/43 Behind the seams: Seams Couture

Susan Kanoff, p 52

44/45 Artist next door: Gallery Della-Piana 46/51 New England native: designer Nicole Yee 52/53 Fashion Coach: Closet keeping

Marcy & Irwin Feld, p 56

54/55 The power of pink: Color of the year

68/71 Everyday occasions 74 Favorite recipe: warm tomato salad

On our cover and opposite page ... Taryn models “The Sara� by Seams Couture at The Stevens Estate in North Andover, MA Photographed by Elizabeth Wertz

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New England Fine Living Text: Linda Smith In-store styling: Linda Smith Photography: Yvonne Blacker

Built before 1714, the Jacob

historical rooms showcase

Fuller House, a beautiful seven

an ever-changing mix of

room colonial, is now home

inventory from a variety of

to a unique

home decor,

lifestyle boutique

fashion and

called New

gift vendors.

England Fine Living. Linda

The items shown

Smith, designer

on these pages,

and lifestyle

are just a small

consultant, has

sample of what

brought together

New England

a group of

Fine Living has


to offer. See an

entrepreneurs to showcase

item you like, but live too far

their products and services

to visit? Contact us to inquire

under one roof. Along with

about our shipping services.

Linda’s design and event planning services, the

New England Fine LIving storefront: photo by Lorna Bird-Hood

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Wall-hanging Shell Collection in Wooden Shadow Box $58

Heart-shaped Letter Holder $8.99

Vintage Pillbox Hat $22

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Custom window treatments Designed by Linda Smith; workroom “Curtains by Paula”

The Paper Proposal Decoupaged Plate 8 in. square from Neptune 1 Studios {Contact for pricing}

Botanical Bio-Peptide $48 From Full Circle Day Spa

Style Pics ... With over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, Jennifer Scala of Style Pic has an eye for design. As the resident fashion stylist at New England Fine Living, she has chosen some of her favorite pics for the transition from winter into spring.

Elan “Love” Sweater $30 Black v-neck cotton-blend sweater with purple love emblem on back

Gold-tone Bangle Set $24

“Heading from winter into spring, start to replace heavier leather bags with lighter weight suedes.

Big Buddha “The Sasha” $40 Clutch with attachable wristlet

Current trends include lots of fabric rosettes and a bit of bling.” Echo Touch Gloves $17

Special feature: Index fingers and thumbs have a special fabric that allows interaction with the touch screens of your favorite technological gadgets. No need to remove your gloves when you are out in the cold texting or web-browsing.

Big Buddha “Tribeca” $60

(above) First Oriental Rugs: Pakistani 6 ft x 8 ft 10 in. $3,250 (top) “Scarlett Roses� by artist Jean Lewis Ramsey $275 (left) Assorted jackets: priced from $39 to $149 finery 13

Pet Portraits: Photography by Corinna Call to arrange a “sitting.�

Red Rose Bag $29

Ivy Leaved Geranium $97 Rosanne Palazola Framing & Art

Custom Upholstered Chair by Locatelli-Smith Interiors $1,200 Rare four foot Queen Anne with solid oak frame.

Wall Mural by ZoĂŤ Design Contact artist to commission. Photograph by Doug Garrabrants

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The Dazzling Dot Chocolate Lover’s Mini Tower $39.95 This elegant mini-tower comes deliciously appointed with two gourmet chocolate chunk and two blondie brownies, three varieties of chocolate covered pretzels, two giant nonpareils, and two chocolate caramel and nut oysters. Indulge!

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Lace Top (small) $32 Wilson Leather Skirt (size 6) $42

Chocolate Cherries $1.99 Marich Classics

Hugs & Kisses Blank Notecards $9.95 Set of 10 with envelopes yvonne b. designs

Bottle Stopper $9.99

Art on a Bottle $35 and up You provide the bottle, and Dancing Sand will create a custom etched work of art

Heart Box $23 Paintin’ Place Ceramics

Gray “Gossip” Bench $250 yvonne b. designs

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Silver Chair with Cushion $225 yvonne b. designs

Original Art on Canvas $20 ea. Acrylic, 5 in. x 5 in. yvonne b. designs

1. Try to choose a time that you are home alone and put your phone on silent. 2. Fill your sink basin with hot water and essential oils (some essential oils aggravate skin, so do not put them into your bathtub.) The warm oil will fill your room with a heavenly scent. 3. Float several small candles in the sink (small tea candles work great for this – keep them in their tins or the wick will slide out into the water). Turn the lights down low and enjoy the shadow play on the walls. Speaking of turning the lights down, putting bathroom lights on a dimmer switch is a nice perk for spa time.

10 Tips on How to Create a Spa Experience at Home text by Linda Smith

Relaxing and pampering means different things to different people, but if life is too hectic to get to the spa, I would like to share a few ideas on how you can create your own spa at home. Imagine … the soft yellow glow of flickering candles enveloping you as you walk into the room, while taking deep breaths to help you decompress. Your favorite bathrobe is draped gently over a padded stool waiting to wrap and warm you, soft music is playing in the background, and the sound of flowing water reminds you it’s time to relax and be pampered. Allow your mind and thoughts to drift as you slip into the warmth of the water. Imagine it washing away the stress of the day and think about a quieter and more peaceful time. It’s okay, allow yourself to relax, this is your time. Sounds nice doesn’t it? With a little planning and time, you too can create your own spa and it’s well worth it. Here are a few ideas to help you create your own personal haven at home. Pick and choose the ideas that work best for you.

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4. Place pillar candles or candlesticks in front of your mirror to bounce and reflect light around the room. If the thought of exposed candles makes you a little nervous, you can place them in glass bowls, clear glass containers, or enclosed lanterns. 5. Have a container of bath salts near the tub. Add a scoop to the running water. 6. Place a small table or stool with a glass of water, tea, wine and/or a dish of fruits like sliced peaches and strawberries. 7. Making sure you have your mp3 player or radio well away from the water, put on your favorite music to help you relax. 8. Roll up a bath towel and tie it with a beautiful ribbon to use as a neck roll while in the tub. 9. A toweling bathrobe should be oversized. If it reaches the floor, it will trap your body heat. If someone else is home, wouldn’t it be nice to have a freshly warmed robe, from the dryer, handed to you just in time to wrap yourself up?Investing in a big fluffy bath towel is a must for feeling truly pampered. 10. Once you are out of the tub, this would be a great time to give yourself a manicure and pedicure followed by a good book or early bed time.

Dazzle Dry I love, love, love this product! I am a nail polish junkie, and they really hit a home run with this product. I used their base coat, my own polish (they have some beautiful polish colors, too), and then their 5 minute quick dry top coat. No lie, I was folding laundry 7 minutes later without any damage to the smooth finish or shine. Better yet, my manicure lasted a week! Bling Jewels Honestly, I blingerize just about everything I can get my hands on and my hair is no exception! Using a flat iron, these jewels are bonded to the hair. You can wash and dry your hair, but you can’t comb the small section they adorn. The use of rubbing alcohol removes the crystals when you want them out.

“Here are some new products that I have tried and loved.” – Linda, the Fine Living muse

Yankee Candle, Pink Sands

Korres Lip Butter Glaze With a not too sheer, not too opaque appearance, this creamy product was a real treat to my lips.

During this long, harsh winter, I find myself longing for a tropical vacation. The invigorating fresh scent of Pink Sands, brought back memories of past vacations and reminded me winter will soon be over.

Combine one natural beauty wearing custom bridal couture with one amazing photographer who specializes in documentary portraiture – introduce them to each other at an historical estate on the top of a hill, throw in a bit of freshly fallen, glittery white snow and what do you get?

A Day to Remember Art direction: Yvonne Blacker Location: The Stevens Estate, North Andover, MA Elizabeth Wertz Photography Styling and wardrobe: Harper Della-Piana, Seams Couture

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On our model Taryn ...

the Sara gown from Seams Couture The Wrapture Collection

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I am a sap for just everything about weddings: flowers and first dances, teary vows, love songs, and every personal touch that makes a wedding unique. – elizabeth wertz

A vintage pink silk bow is transformed into a modern hairpiece by Harper Della-Piana of Seams Couture. An antique brooch adds sparkle to a hand sewn Wrapture flower made of pink silk.


723 Osgood Street, North Andover, MA 01845 978.682.7072

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I am a feeler, a right-brained, hard-loving, emoting romantic. I am a day-dreamer. I love books and tea and chocolate and buttery croissants and intense conversation. I have dappled in writing fiction. I love to swim and bike and walk through the woods. I am into mermaids. I think poetry is sexy.

P HOTOG R A P H Y is art, and romance, and telling stories all swirled into one.

I was teaching The Great Gatsby by day, writing fiction and literary analysis by night, and doing engagement sessions and weddings on weekends ... I was going to rock it all. “Joan� dress in sterling gray silk by Seams Couture

Behind the lens ... words from Liz It was in college that I discovered photography. It hit me hard. Light coming through my peeling-paint windows on Comm. Ave. Vines curling and clinging to brownstone. The way the sun gave color and warmth to a little girl’s curls. The magic of the darkroom, my images coming to life before me. And though I went on to teach for six years, that magic never left me, and I continued to document life around me. – all quotes from

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The Stevens Estate, North Andover shot by Barbara Lynch Photography

Rendering by Boston architects Hartwell & Richardson, circa 1889 “The Stevens Estate was built in 1886 by Moses T. Stevens, a prosperous owner of textile mills and a member of one of the founding families of North Andover. The house and outbuildings were designed by the Boston architects Hartwell & Richardson and sit atop Osgood Hill. The beautiful oak and mahogany paneling, leaded stained glass windows and imported marble fireplaces are a testament to its grandeur and significance in the Boston area. The Stevens family maintained the Estate until the 1950s, when they donated the property to Boston University. The Town of North Andover purchased the Stevens Estate in 1995 to protect it and preserve its grounds. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Stevens Estate is one the few remaining grand estates of the Victorian era.� -

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“Since I was a wee little wisp of a girl, I have always looked at the beauty in the world around me and longed for a way to capture it, to keep it – and I have found that photography brings me closest to doing so. There is nothing more exhilarating than preserving life as it happens.” – elizabeth wert z

Get the look from our shoot: Ivory silk Wrapture gown ... $595 Sterling Wrapture dress ... $325 Pink satin bolero jacket ... $425 Antique lace bib necklace ... $395 Silk neck ties ... $69 each Wrapture flower with designer’s own antique pin ... $50 Vintage silk bow headpiece ... $79 Plaid taffeta rose pin ... $20

Link up ... Find select accessories online at:

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Behind the Seams text and photography Yvonne Blacker styling Harper Della-Piana

I love to see where creative people “make their magic.” After our it’s-fun-to-be-a-girl Stevens Estate photo shoot (which we barely squeezed in between back-to-back New England snow storms) I returned the gorgeous gowns to their home at Seams Couture in Wenham, Massachusetts. Designer Harper DellaPiana, who is as smart as she is creative, gave me a tour of the two-story European-style bridal salon where she designs bespoke made-to-measure couture gowns (which start at $2000), classically inspired ready-to-wear dresses (which start at around $325) along with a variety of accessories. While Harper’s collections are undeniably stunning, I was equally captivated by the mix of high style vintage display pieces that share the stage with colorful flourishes of an artist’s hand.

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What I love about Wrapture: The Wrapture Collection (worn by Taryn at the Stevens Estate and shown above) is the only woven fabric bridal and bridesmaid collection that wraps on, ensuring a custom and flattering fit for figures at any size (even flower girls). The line is handmade exclusively in New England. The classically wearable silhouette (which would be appropriate for any formal occasion) is available in over 36 colors of woven silk or eco-friendly hemp/silk charmeuse, 13 different top styles and 3 different skirts (long or short). Mix and match styles and colors to create a custom look that suits you best. This is truly a dress that can be “worn again.� BTW, the dresses have pockets!!!

photo opposite page top left: Harper Della-Piana

Seams the Shop,152-R Main Street, Wenham, MA 01984 Call 978.473.3398 to schedule an appointment

Find Seams Couture at ... Flair Bridesmaids in Boston, MA The Bridal Salon at Corinne Weddings in Glastonbury, CT Wedding Creations and Anthony’s Tuxedo of Washington, DC Wedding Resource Studio of Tigard, OR Look for Harper & Seams Couture at ... Boston’s Elegantly Green Wedding Showcase 5.15.11

Get to know Harper ... • Harper Della-Piana learned to sew at age 2. • She spent more than 20 years as a professional costumer and wardrobe supervisor in New York City for major films, TV, broadway, ballet, circus, ice, and commercials. • She has created costumes for such productions as Door In the Floor, Brown Sugar, Beloved, Batman Forever, Dogma, Victor/Victoria, Will Rogers Follies, Spin City, The Cosby Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Late Show with David Letterman. • Commercial clients have included Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Victoria’s Secret, and Max Factor.

Seams is green. Harper collects vintage and antique materials and refashions them with new fine silks and other materials. Even the showroom adopts green-practices, using recycled furnishings, LED lighting, and eco-friendly packaging. About half of each garment is sewn without the use of machinery. Harper, a classically trained draper and pattern maker, can recycle a vintage gown (in good condition) to be worn again. Museum quality zero carbon cleaning gown preservation is also offered by Seams through the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

photo opposite page: Harper Della-Piana left: Shutterbooth Boston

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Inspiration “The corset worn by Rebecca in this Rocking Royal photo shoot is actually called ‘Madge’ after Madonna’s nickname aka Majesty. The UK flag on my bulletin board is a relic from the long defunct 80’s Castle Hill Theatre Festival production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Entire ship was built in the Venetian Garden, and I was the wardrobe supervisor. That silly bunting flag has been with me ever since.” – Harper Della-Piana

Link up ... Follow the SEAMS blog for advice and inspirations from the workroom

Valdorama Boutique Photography

Gallery Della-Piana designed “Favorite Space” photographed at Wenham Museum’s North Shore Design Show, May 2010 Harper (left) and Elissa (right)

Creative roots. Harper has inherited much of her creative talents from her mother, Elissa Della-Piana, who is also an artist and manages her own gallery in the same historical building as the Seams Couture shop. Stop by during gallery hours to view the latest exhibition Points of Departure now through April 21st. Gallery Della-Piana 152-R Main Street, Wenham, MA Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11: 00 am to 6 : 00 pm phone 978. 468.1944 Link up ... Learn more about Elissa and her work at

Far left: art shown at Gallery Della-Piana: “The Letter” paper sculpture by artist Stephanie H. McGrail-Letendre

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I love summer in New England A California-based designer and New England native shares the story behind her designed space for the Old York Decorator Showhouse ...

Text: Nicole Yee Jim LaBranche Photography

Learn more link: video tour of the 2009 Showhouse

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The McIntire master suite’s sweeping view of the York River Watershed dictated the placement of the bed in the center of the room. The only wall that could have accommodated the headboard faces the driveway, so in order to capitalize on the room’s best asset, I went with an unconventional layout. I believe that occasionally bending the rules often leads to the most interesting designs. The bed in the middle adds a wonderful, unexpected element. To counter this design twist, I opted to employ the stark and classic color palette: black and white. Together, the striking layout and thoughtful use of contrasting colors ensures that the room’s bold view is enhanced, yet doesn’t overshadow the design itself. The perfect pairing of black and white leads to a sophisticated underlying theme in the room: the marriage of opposites. For example, fabrics in the room vary from velvet to burlap, and textures vary from rhinestones to rope. Stunning raw silk drapes feature a relaxed Parisian pleat, yet pool on the floor making a very formal statement. This elegant, yet comfortable, outcome, is a very common request of design clients today.

Another frequent desire in today’s design market is to mix the old with the new. The McIntire Master is a perfect example of how this can be achieved without appearing disjointed or jarring. The furniture and lighting are a combination of antiques, traditional styles and modern finishes. Contemporary custom bedding adds a crispness to the design that is offset with a worn rustic bench and rusted armillary. The art is also a mix of vintage prints, an original oil, and a graphic reproduction. The overall effect is a more eclectic space, oozing with visual interest. Sophisticated elements are balanced with light-hearted touches so that the room maintains an air of elegance and serenity without feeling somber. A floral arrangement on a corner table as well as two garden stools on

the balcony in vibrant yellow add a jolt of color to the otherwise limited color palette. Wide black and white stripes that carry over onto a vintage bench in the entryway add a measure of freshness and whimsy. Although the room’s design has layers of complexity, the overall effect is simple, uncomplicated and definitive.

Jim LaBranche Photography

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Masculine and feminine features in the room are a further extension of the “opposites” theme. A dress form adorned with a gorgeous vintage black taffeta gown, combines with more masculine art and a vignette of an antique silk folding top hat and a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume. Classic books, vintage opera glasses, a feather boa and an original Gimbal’s hatbox might conjure up images of Fred and Ginger, or Jackie O and JFK. Jim LaBranche Photography

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With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time for ... Closet Clean-Out Tips


By Susan Kanoff, Fashion Coach Is your closet in dire need of an overhaul? It’s easier than you might think! A clean closet will help you to maximize space, better organize your clothes, and coordinate outfits more quickly and easily. ^ Photography by Linda

Here are some tips … Start with the right supplies:

With a passion for fashion and a flair for style, Susan Kanoff has an innate ability to create fabulous outfits for women of all shapes and sizes. Her warmth, sensitivity, and positive energy make her the perfect partner for a wardrobe make-over. In addition to working with private clients, Susan’s styling can also be seen on television and in catalogs.

• Good hangers (preferably the thin velvet covered type) to prevent clothes from stretching out. Dump your wire hangers – they tend to damage clothes, especially sweaters and knit tops. • Labeled boxes and/or trash bags for sorting – one for pieces that need tailoring, one for charity, one for trash and one for consignment. • Plastic craft boxes to store jewelry • Organizers and clear plastic shoe boxes for belts, scarves, shoes, etc. Pull everything out of your closet. Try each piece on (looking in a full-length mirror!) and ask yourself: • Do I love it? • Have I worn it in the last year? • Does it flatter my shape and look great on me? • Am I saving this piece for when I lose weight? • Does it fit me well or need tailoring? • Is it comfortable? phone 978.807.0577

• Is it in style? • Is it worn, pilled, stained or ripped beyond repair? • Does it go with other

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pieces in my closet? • Does the color warm my skin tone or wash me out? Only put the clothes back in your closet that you LOVE and that look GREAT on you. Find a home for everything else. Organize clothes in a system that works for you. For example, I like to organize my clothes by type and color (dresses together by color, blouses together by color, etc.) Don’t fall into the trap of keeping clothes in your closet that don’t fit. Why beat yourself up every time you see that beautiful dress that you can no longer get into? If you truly think that you’ll lose weight at some point, box and label the clothes and revisit them when you lose weight. Otherwise they’re just taking up space in your closet and making you feel bad about yourself every time you get dressed. Other tips: • Keep handbags stuffed with paper to keep their shape • Store shoes on shoe racks or in clear plastic shoe boxes (so you can see what’s inside). Clear boxes can also be used to store scarves and hair accessories. • Weed out your closet every month or two using the hanger trick* and do a major closet cleaning seasonally. • After you’ve cleaned your closet, take inventory and make a list of the pieces you’re missing or need to replace.

^ photo Yvonne Blacker


The Hanger Trick:

If you’re unsure of what you’re not wearing, try this trick. Take all of your clothes out of your closet and hang them up with the hook facing you (instead of facing the wall). After you wear your clothes, hang them the right way when you put them back into the closet. After several months, look at the hangers that are facing the wrong way – these are the pieces you are not wearing ^ photo Jay Foley

The power of pink

Photo credits:

Elizabeth Wertz Photography 1, 3, 7 Wynne & Mintz Photography 6 Yvonne Blacker 2, 4, 5, 8

Design credits: Elizabeth Wertz 1 Yvonne Blacker Interiors 3 Kim Smith Designs 5 Irene Kucinsky/Santorini Design 6

Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2011: PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle Energizing honeysuckle lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life’s ongoing challenges ... Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life. In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.® “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.”

Seams Couture 7

Try versions of pink with ...

Eiseman continues,“The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages. In fact, this color, not the sweet fragrance of the flower blossoms for which it was named, is what attracts hummingbirds to nectar. Honeysuckle may also bring a wave of nostalgia for its associated delicious scent reminiscent of the carefree days of spring and summer.” Honeysuckle is guaranteed to produce a healthy glow when worn by both men and women. It’s a striking, eye-catching hue that works well for day and night in women’s apparel, accessories and cosmetics, and in men’s ties, shirts and sportswear. Add a lively flair to interior spaces with Honeysuckle patterned pillows, bedspreads, small appliances and tabletop accessories. Looking for an inexpensive way to perk up your home? Paint a wall in Honeysuckle for a dynamic burst of energy in the family room, kitchen or hallway. – 2011 press release issued by







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Designed with love Marcy Feld shares her thoughts on the Pretty in Pink for Life bench

Text and photography: Marcy Feld

Irwin Feld Design is Fairfield

Breast Cancer Awareness Month,

County’s largest destination for

we decided to use the event to

incomparable mid-century

raise awareness as well as funds

modern furnishings, lighting and

for Komen for the Cure, CT.

fine art. Launched in March of 2007 and located in Stamford’s

With a close personal connec-

Arts and Antiques district, IFD is

tion, we are deeply committed

an ever-changing 5,000 sq. ft.

to supporting Komen for the

luxurious loft style gallery

Cure. It is one of the reasons we

reflective of Irwin’s unique vision.

decided to participate in

Irwin’s rare gift for reinvention

Holiday House in 2009 doing a

coupled with his unrivaled

tabletop, and returned again

merchandising skills are

this past December, doing a

showcased in this exceptional

complete room. We hope

space. This past September Irwin

that through our efforts, we

joined forces with Steve Cassler

can motivate other small

of Mid Century Antiques and

businesses to see that with a

together they are now the

little imagination and a lot of

“Dynamic Duo” of mid-century design in Fairfield County. Our Pretty in Pink for Life bench originated when we were asked to host New England Home Connecticut’s fall networking event in the gallery this past October. With a gathering of some of Fairfield County’s (and beyond) “Best & Brightest” during

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Holiday House room by Irwin Feld Design

^ Landino Photo

perseverance, they can help raise both awareness as well as funds for lifesaving causes. When Pantone announced their Color of the Year: PANTONE® 18-2120 Honeysuckle, it spoke to us in ways that reached beyond the color spectrum. While our custom mid– century Pretty in Pink for Life bench may not be Honeysuckle, the restorative power of its pink hue cannot be denied. Tickled pink ... IFD is happy to announce that the Pretty in Pink for Life bench was sold on Valentine’s Day! All the proceeds are being donated to Komen, CT.


click here for a list of blogger favorites from the NYIGF

^ Australian based MOR cosmetics display at the NYIGF photo credit: Yvonne Blacker

Field trip ... here are just some of the items that I saw and *LOVED* at the

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL GIFT SHOW {chosen by Yvonne Blacker } MOR Essentials Sugar Rose Tiger Lily Hand & Body Lotion $18 11.8 oz.

MOR Gifting Sweet Heart $17 for set Soapette and Hand Cream Shown: Marshmallow

from New England visit their websites to read more about their unique design stories

Cut Out Monogram Script Necklace from Intial Reaction $165 Gold Vermeil, 16 or 18 inch chain

Monarch Butterfly Pillow Ox Bow Decor {to the trade} Warm white linen, knife-edge finish

Long Sleeve Hand-stitched Tee from The Green Egg $28 Shown: Ice Cream on PInk

Magnetic Blocks by Tegu sets range from $22 and up Shown: Block Color Tints

Black Candelabra Lamp from Dunes & Duchess {contact for retail locations}

After spending a full weekend on my feet while visiting the New York International Gift Fair, I discovered a lot of women there wished they had a stylish pair of high heels that they could actually walk in for long periods at a time – comfortably – and still look fashionable. Originally designed to stylishly navigate the cobbled streets of Boston, Italian-inspired Cordani shoes – with their extra soft cushioning on the inside combined with a pretty, yet sturdy, platform heel – are just the right fit. On my return home, I paid a visit to their corporate office in Wakefield, Massachusetts and asked a few questions of the owners, husband and wife design team, Michael and Allyson Ciccia ...


interview and photographs: Yvonne Blacker


Michael and Allyson Ciccia share a passion for well designed shoes.

What is your favorite part of the shoe design process? My favorite part of the shoe design process is creating a design to specifically meet the fit requirements of our customers. When I’m visiting the stores where our shoes are carried, I talk to a lot of customers who have many different fit needs or foot problems. I really like finding a solution for the problems and incorporating that into a design. A lot of customers, for example, don’t like when their ankle feels loose in a shoe, and they feel the back of the

< photo credit: Charley Freiberg

shoe moving around too much. So I make sure I have enough styles with adjustments in the back to hold a narrow ankle in place. Allyson, on the other hand, really enjoys incorporating fashion elements into the styles. She’s passionate about the fashion world and she determines which colors, textures and looks will be important for the next season. I think that’s why we electra work so well together – our designs combine my concerns for fit and function with her focus on fashion.


What challenges do you face working together? What is the best part of working together? Working together is very rewarding,but comes with a lot of challenges. It’s very difficult for us to separate our work from our personal lives since the shoe industry is such a big part of us. Even when we’re on vacation, we find ourselves wandering into shoe stores and looking down at people’s feet. We try to make a conscious effort to not talk shoes when we’re “off” work, but we’re so passionate about what we do that we can’t help ourselves. Cordani fall 2011 sample shoes

Cordani sandals range from $150 - $350 with shoes and boots priced at $165 -$550 depending on the style. Our outlet located at 76 Albion Street in Wakefield is open only on Thursdays from 10 am-3pm and offers older styles, samples and factory seconds at reduced prices.

Find Cordani in Massachusetts at: Viola Lovely in Wenham Surfaces in Marblehead Footstock (in Boston, Concord, or Wellesley) x-hale boutique in Newton The Studio in Brookline Definitely Wendy in Westboro Pilgrim’s Progress in Plymouth Link up ...


find a selection of Cordani styles online at


“I think that’s why we work so well together – our designs combine my concerns for fit and function with her focus on fashion.” – Michael Ciccia, Cordani What new design trends have you incorporated into the spring and fall lines of Cordani shoes? Espadrille styles continue to be big this spring. The sandals are light weight and very neutral. Even though the economy is rebounding, albeit slowly, people are still very cautious about their spending. They would evangaline rather buy a neutral sandal that they can match with several outfits. A lot of designers think consumers are ready for bright colors and patterns, but we still went pretty safe this year with our palette. I don’t think the economy is as robust as everyone had hoped it would be at this point.

What shoe was a favorite at the recent shoe design expo that Cordani attended in New York? We’re showing our new designs for fall 2011 and we just started thinking about our spring 2012 collection, which we have to have ready in a few months. Out of the new fall grouping, fur seems to be really popular again. We’re seeing it across industries from home decor to apparel. Our fur trimmed ankle boot “venetia” is turning out to be one of our most booked styles for next fall.

How has the shoe industry in New England/the country changed since you first started Cordani back in 1998? New England was once the center of the shoe industry in the United States. Cities like Fall River, Lowell and Lawrence supplied the entire country with footwear during the industrial revolution. Since shoemaking is a very manual process, when labor costs increased, companies started looking overseas for cheaper labor to keep prices down. Most of New England based shoe

companies now make all product overseas. When we started Cordani over 13 years ago, Cole Haan, based in Maine, still made a lot of its product in New England. Now they’ve even had to succumb to lower overseas costs. A small cluster of shoe factories has recently grown over the past few years in East Los Angeles, so that’s one of the areas where you can still find people to make shoes in this country. Their specialty, however, is pretty narrow – they focus primarily on shoes with wooden bottoms and riveted uppers. The classic moccasin construction, which was the main business in New England, has pretty much disappeared. Where can we find Cordani shoes? We’re carried at shoe and clothing stores across the country. Our new flagship store opened last October in Portland, Oregon. People in Portland walk a lot and are concerned with comfort, but they also want to be hip and current. The store is a great way for us to directly thina present our collection to the consumer. It’s also a place to try new concepts and ideas. There may be more Cordani shops in the future, hopefully here in New England, and most likely in an intimate “neighborhood” setting.

photo credit: Charley Freiberg


A snapshot frozen in time ... Some favorite New England design bloggers present their points of view.

On her view towards her back meadow ...

“It is absolutely beautiful, but what truly surprises, delights and amazes me on a daily basis is how natural this winter scape is to the soul of this born-and-raised Texan.” – {Joan Ross, New Hampshire}


“WHAT I LOVE ABOUT NEW ENGLAND DESIGN is the change of the seasons. It is a perfect excuse to change your decor. During the colder months we pull out the darker accent pillow covers, heavier window treatments and textured throws,

but as soon as the weather turns warmer we pack them all up for the lighter-weight options and colors. You are guaranteed that instant ‘new house’ feel twice a year. I love it!”

“Ella hopping off of the front steps. Check out those ‘bunny’ ears! Like her Mama, this Texas-girl loves the snow! The sound and feel of walking on snow is magical to me!”

– {Julieann Covino, Massachusetts} photo credits this page: Joan Ross

“Scandinavian furniture is warm, unpretentious, and time tested … just like New Englanders! It will fit in with most surroundings; it will make a statement when it needs to and blend into the background under the right circumstances. It has a long history and many stories to tell. “I love the beauty, serenity and humble quality of New England. The four seasons (although in Maine we have Summer, Fall, Winter, and Mud seasons) keep life interesting, the landscape never ceases to be awe inspiring, and the incredibly genuine people are all what make living here so special.” – and {Tricia Mitchell, Maine} < photo credit, Max Jones, Sacco, ME

v photo credit, Tricia Mitchell

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< photo credit, Linda Merrill

On decorating with pink ... “I designed this room for the 5-year-old daughter of long time clients who live in a South End brownstone dating to the late 19th C. The walls are pale pink, the canopy bedding is an Anna French pink fabric and the coverlet is a fuchsia matalesse by Pine Cone Hill. I made the pillows with custom embroidery courtesy of an Etsy artist.” – ::Surroundings:: {Linda Merrill, Massachusetts}

“ What I love about design in New England is that it embraces the very essence of home: traditions, families and comfort.” – R U T L AN D D E S I GN E R .C O M V E R M O N T D E S I G N E R { R U X A N A O O S M A N , V E R MO N T }

“I’ve always loved the ocean, and living in coastal Rhode Island – in a home overlooking the water – is a dream come true. The view connects me with the big picture of life and inspires me to share projects and decorating ideas on my blog Completely Coastal. In fact, I started my blog after my husband and I moved here in 2008.” – Completely-Coastal .com {Maya Nagel, Rhode Island}

^ Sakonnet waterway, photo credit Maya Nagel

Use the good china ...

Styling and photography: Yvonne Blacker

Why save all the best stuff for guests and holidays? Treat yourself and those around you to special touches and turn every day into an occasion.

Send love notes ...

Boutique stationer Felix Doolittle offers a sweet selection of hand illustrated note cards, stationery, invitations and more. Choose your favorite design, then share your penned thoughts with pride. Heart Candy Note Cards Sweetheart Collection $50 for set that includes: 8 small note cards with 8 different illustrations 10 petit love notes with 10 different illustrations 18 love stickers and 18 coordinating envelopes {love bug magnet sold separately}

Combine utility with pretty ...

Glen Magna gardens photo: Yvonne Blacker

“Given a day’s notice to come up with a design idea for the Danvers Historical Society Designer Showcase, I was at a loss until I was handed a brochure about the Glen Magna gardens. Louise ‘Lulu’ Theron Endicott Wynne & Mintz Photography

spent summers at Glen Magna. An avid gardener, she helped

Lulu’s Potting Shed by Rosanne Palazola Reflecting on Danvers History through Interior Design July 2010

transform the gardens into what they are today. My vignette was inspired by her hobby and passion.”

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Enjoy all four seasons in this year-round camp in Rangeley, Maine For Sale By Owner $475,000 Rangeley, Maine has been a sought after getaway since the 1800’s. Now is your chance to live or vacation in your own home that is located on a pristine lake full of salmon. Sleeps 8+ • Fully Furnished • Washer & Dryer Two Wood Stoves • 1 1/2 baths Close to Saddleback Mountain Minutes from downtown Rangeley { Dining, Movie Theater, Pubs, Shopping } For more information or a showing email Ben at

Warm Tomato and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese

from Linda’s kitchen

This salad is so easy. Mix it by eye depending upon how many people you are feeding. This recipe is for four people.

Link up ... find more of Linda’s favorite recipes, decorating tips, event styling ideas, etc. at

one package baby spinach 1/2 cup Craisins 1/2 cup slivered almonds – plain or oven roasted flavor 1/4 cup creamy balsamic salad dressing one – two large tomatoes goat cheese Cut the tomatoes into large sections and add to skillet with Craisins, almonds, and creamy balsamic dressing. Cook on low heat to warm items and thicken the salad dressing. Plate the spinach and then layer on the toppings you just prepared. Add goat cheese and drizzle with more creamy balsamic dressing. Serve while tomatoes are still warm.

photo credits: Linda Smith

New England

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• Going green • Spring in New England • Beautiful botanicals and more! Thank you to our many contributors and sponsors for helping to make our first issue a reality! Yvonne & Linda

Hunger Awareness Fundraiser Breakfast Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 9:30am Thomson Country Club 20 Elm Street, North Reading, MA Cost: $30 per person* Silent Auction k Raffles and more *The sale of this ticket will support local food pantries and a percentage will be matched by the Feinstein Foundation “One Million Dollar Hunger Challenge.”

-FYMJWNSL )MFSLJ /SH ÈE\`^_Yfij _\cg`e^ e\`^_YfijÉ

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